Check Out These Top Mountain Bike Trails Around Scottsdale

Mountain biking is an activity that seems to be made for Arizona. It’s an exciting and invigorating way to experience the untamed and unique desert areas. Scottsdale has some of the best riding trails in the country, and they range from short and smooth to long and rugged. All you need to begin your journey is motivation, a bike and some gear.


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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

This stunning desert habitat is possibly the greatest mountain bike trail in the state. If you’re new to the sport, head to the Granite Mountain loops, Brown’s Ranch Trailhead or Cholla Mountain. You won’t face steep hills and unpredictable paths. Advanced riders should try the Gateway, Windgate or Tom Thumb trails, which include side exposures, sharp turns and steep ascents.

mountain bike trail

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McDowell Mountain Regional Park

For fewer inclines and more twists, you may prefer the single track, rolling desert trails at McDowell Mountain Park. There are three one-way loops covering more than 50 miles of beautiful, contoured terrain. As you ride through the open space and witness the glory of the McDowell, Superstition and Four Peak mountain ranges, you’ll feel overwhelmingly empowered.

McDowell Mountain Park

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Black Canyon Trail

Slightly more than an hour north of the park is the famous Black Canyon Trail. This 62-mile track runs through the desert and is segmented with multiple access points. The southern portion is the mellowest and offers a mild descent. In the middle, you’ll find the most technically challenging routes and dramatic landscape, including jagged canyons and saguaro jungles.

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Hangover Trail

Hangover is even farther north, but it’s worth the drive for Scottsdale residents. This 3.2-mile Sedona trail is intensely technical with slick rock paths, tight dirt tracks and exposed ledges. At many points, rocks hang over the trail, which forces riders toward the open edges. It takes some skill and effort, but the glorious red rock formations are great payoffs.

Arizona Outback Adventures

Although Arizona Outback Adventures isn’t a mountain bike trail, it’s beneficial for any ride. This Scottsdale bike rental company is your key to the perfect riding experience. You can choose from a collection of standard or high performance bikes with various suspension options. The company also offers high quality bike components, accessories and riding gear.

You cannot go wrong with any of these desert biking trails. The regal cactuses, colorful sunsets and panoramic vistas are a biker’s dream. If you’re staying at our hotel, you’ll be 17 minutes from the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and 45 minutes from McDowell Regional Park, so those may be the best initial options. However, no matter where you plan your cycling adventure, you’ll have the time of your life.

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3 thoughts on “Check Out These Top Mountain Bike Trails Around Scottsdale

  1. Nice images of the trails…watching the video I think I felt every bump and putting the map on at the end of the video is a really nice touch…I am afraid of snakes…especially poisonous ones…I used to mountain bike but now in my older years I am pretty much a hiker…and I take my dogs on the trails with me here in the east…for their safety…I hike mostly winter autumn and early spring…we still have timber rattlers and copperheads as well….more and more lately in the summer we hear of dogs locally bitten by a rattlesnake…do you have the same issues out there in the Scottsdale area ?

    • Hi Svenlovesflo, thanks for your message. It’s good to hear that you’re an active hiker, it’s the best exercise and makes for excellent soul food too! Where about do you hike in the East? Yes, rattlesnakes love the sun and will come out and bask on hiking trails in most of the Southwest. This being said, as long as you keep your eyes regularly on the trails, rattlers are fairly easy to spot. In general, it is a good idea to keep all dogs on a leash for their safety as well as for the safety of indigenous wildlife including desert tortoises (vulnerable to dogs) and endangered ground nesting birds and their young. If you have a particular aversion to snakes (many people do), one solution is to go out at sunrise and very early hours, this way your chances of running into snakes will be much lower. We hope to see you one day in Scottsdale and be sure to bring the pooches!

  2. Awesome photos. I used to love mountain biking but not so much these days. We’re more into the off road touring (in cars!) but I still love seeing those photos of the trails and imagining all the bumps and thrills. It’s such an invigorating past time. Cheers from Australia. 🙂

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